Skip to main content
Unit of study_

PUBH5125: Environmental Epidemiology

2024 unit information

Environmental epidemiology studies the effects of hazards in the environment on health and wellbeing in the human population. The unit takes an eco-social approach and broadly defines the environment as anything external to the person including the physical, social, psychological and aesthetic environment and their interactions. Building on students own knowledge of the environment and environmental hazards related to air, water, soil, climate, and the built environment the unit will cover study designs and methods of exposure assessment and statistical analysis used to assess environmental health risks. This unit will provide students with a practical understanding of the research methods used to assess the exposure-response relationship between environmental hazards and health outcomes. Students will be introduced to data analysis and visualisation skills and software including spatial data involving Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for mapping, as well as statistical analysis of environmental exposures and health outcomes using the R Statistical Software. While the unit has a quantitative data focus it does not require high level technical skills as the aim is to give students a conceptual understanding of environmental epidemiology. The unit will also explore future directions in the field of environmental epidemiology and students will also learn about the importance of environmental epidemiology to the Planetary Health framework for assessing global environmental health risks and impacts under a changing climate.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Public Health

Code PUBH5125
Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
PUBH5010 or CEPI5100 or BSTA5011
Assumed knowledge:

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Describe and apply the principles of environmental epidemiology to the assessment of health risks from environmental hazards
  • LO2. Describe and apply epidemiological study designs relevant to environmental hazards including those not frequently used in other epidemiological fields (eg: clinical epidemiology)
  • LO3. Apply the principles of environmental exposure assessment as they relate to individuals and populations incorporating spatial and / or temporal variation in exposure to environmental hazards.
  • LO4. Identify sources of measurement error in exposure, health outcomes and confounders, describe methods for minimising bias and appreciate the implications of these issues for environmental epidemiological analyses and interpretation of study results.
  • LO5. Identify and critically appraise environmental epidemiological literature on potential environmental hazards to health
  • LO6. Appreciate the importance of different subdisciplines in environmental epidemiology (eg: exposure science, epidemiology, toxicology, and risk assessment) and potential career opportunities

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2022
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.